Frank Scott Jr. made history Tuesday by becoming the first Black mayor elected by popular vote in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Scott, 35, defeated Baker Kurrus in a nonpartisan runoff election, ABC 7 Little Rock reports. Both candidates failed to get more than 50 percent of the vote last month in the general election.
On Tuesday’s runoff, Scott received 58 percent of the votes to Kurrus’ 42 percent. Kurrus conceded the race Tuesday night.
“From the very beginning of this campaign, we committed to uniting Little Rock, and bringing bold, new leadership to City Hall — leadership that will unlock the true potential of the city so many of us call home, and a city that has a bright future ahead. The voters of our city have spoken, and they agree — it’s time,” Scott wrote on Facebook following his victory.
The city has had two Black mayors, but they were city directors who were chosen by board members.
Scott is replacing Mark Stodola, who served as Little Rock’s mayor for 12 years and who announced that he wasn’t seeking re-election because of a family medical issue.
Under former Governor Mike Beebe, Scott served as deputy police director and director of intergovernmental affairs. The University of Arkansas graduate, who is a banker and associate pastor, also served on the state highway commission and was on the board of directors for the Little Rock Port Authority.
Scott told the news station that he wants to spur economic growth by bringing jobs to Little Rock.
“When companies contemplate relocating to Arkansas, Springdale, Rogers and Jonesboro have become favored destinations–not Little Rock,” he said. “We have got to get back into the conversation, and on the top of mind for companies.”
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Teddy is a multimedia journalist who serves as the culture and political writer for EBONY. His work has appeared in NBC's Owned and Operated stations, as well as DNAInfo, which covered local neighborhood news in New York City. He received his Masters in Journalism from the Craig Newmark School of Journalism at CUNY in 2017.